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Wurlitzer 165 Specification
compiled by Robbie Rhodes

Wurlitzer Style 165  #3629
Originally sold in 1939 to Ross Davis for Lincoln Park carousel, Los Angeles, California
Facade restored by Don Rand.  Photo courtesy Don Rand.

file:     W165spec
revised:  960417 - info from David Wasson, Eric Miller 2-7-87 data
revised:  990217, 001222 - Matthew Caulfield

COMPILER:      Robbie Rhodes, April 1996
DATA SOURCE:   Wurlitzer catalog, Don Rand, Matthew Caulfield

BUILDER:       Rudolph Wurlitzer Co.
STYLE:         No. 165 Duplex Orchestral Organ
POWER:         Electric motor
MUSIC:         Wurlitzer Style 165 music roll

DESCRIPTION (from Wurlitzer catalog)

Case: oak veneered, finished natural, with highly decorated white enamel
fancy front; wings detachable.  Can be furnished with or without statues.
Equipped with Duplex Tracker Frame.

Dimensions with front on:
  Height 8 feet 5 inches
  Width 12 feet 8 inches
  Depth 4 feet 4 inches.

Dimensions without front: 
  Height 5 feet 10-1/2 inches
  Width 6 feet 5 inches
  Depth 3 feet

Weight, packed for shipment: 3,000 pounds


DESCRIPTION (by Matthew Caulfield)

There are 8 ranks in the melody section, controlled by 4 register controls
(#9,10,68,69).  Going from front to rear, ranks 1 and 2 are violins (who
knows whether "loud" or "soft"?).  (I've never seen a 165 with any
difference between the "loud" and the "soft" violins, though Doyle Lane's
pipe scale book shows in one place that they should be different, in
another that they are identical).  Both ranks are planted in a common
sub-chest, with its single register control.  Ranks 3 and 4 are also
violins, arranged the same way are ranks 1 and 2.

Ranks 5 and 6 are a rank of flageolets and a rank of open piccolos, planted
as are the other twinned ranks on a common subchest, with its single
register control.  Ranks 7 and 8 are a rank of stopped flutes (or piccolos)
and a rank of open flutes, likewise on a common subchest with single
register control.  Because the pipes in the stopped rank are only half the
height of the pipes in the open ranks, they are on longer feet to raise
their tops to a height uniform with the other 7 melody ranks.

The pipes in the melody ranks are planted so that the lowest notes are in
the center of the rank and the highest are at each end of the rank.
However the 3 endmost pipes on each side of the open flute rank (rank 8)
have holes drilled in the back of the pipe midway up the pipe (for reasons
I forget, but a better organ man than I am can probably tell you), so that
they are taller than they would normally be.

   medium:  punched paper roll
   transport: paper is pulled by take-up spool, 
              at constant revolutions per minute
   initial paper speed: typical 8.3 feet per minute, adjustable
   reader:  pneumatic, suction, rectangular hole, hole height = ?
   diameter of punched hole: 0.073 inch (1.85 mm), round
   width of paper:  9.6250 inches
   take-up spool diameter: 3.0 inches
   supply spool core: 2.00 inches inside diam., 2.25 inches outside diam.
   channel spacing:
      per Mike Kitner:  0.1227 inch per key (20 inches per 163 keys)
   distance, bass edge to center of channel #1:
      per David Wasson:  0.218 inch
      per Mike Kitner:  symmetrical about centerline.
   total quantity of possible channels: 75
   total quantity of active channels: 69 (W165), 75 (W166)
   divisions and quantity of channels in division (W165):

     W165 W166       Division
       6    6  keys  bass
      10   10  keys  accompaniment
      22   22  keys  melody
      14   14  keys  trumpet (counter-melody)
       7    5  keys  percussion
       2    2  keys  swell shades
      14   10  keys  controls
      75   69  keys  total

INSTRUMENTATION & CONTROLS --- (revised 960417 per Eric Miller data)

BASS div, 6 keys (span: 36C1 - 45A1)
 18 pipes--
  6 8' stopped     (always playing)
  6 8' open        (always playing)
  6 8' Wood Trombone (#70)

ACCOMPANIMENT (ACC) div, 10 keys (span: 55G2 - 66F#3)
 20 pipes --
 10 8' stopped    (always playing)
 10 8' open        (#1)

TRUMPET (TRPT) div, 14 keys (span: 53F2 - 67G3)
 42 pipes --
 14 wood bassoon  (always playing)
 14 wood viola    (always playing)
 14 wood trumpet  (#8)

MELODY (MEL) div, 22 keys (span: 67G3 - 89F5)
176 pipes, 22 bells --

 22 wood violin       (#69)
 22 wood violin       (#69)
 22 wood violin        (#9)
 22 wood violin        (#9)
 22 wood flagolet     (#10)
 22 wood piccolo      (#10)
 22 stopped flute     (#68)
 22 fl. octave (picc) (#68)
 22 glockenspiel       (#6)

    bass drum & cymbal      (#67)
    crash cymbal   (#7)
    triangle       (#4)
    snare drum, reiterating (#11)
    castanets      (#72)

    swell shutters closed  (#5)
    swell shutters open   (#71)

CONTROLS (CTL), 11 keys
    Rewind           (#29)    (appears only at the end of roll)
    Coin trip        (#18)    (optional motor shut-off, after each song)

    Cancel/Declenche (#52)
    wood trombone    (#70)   BASS
    wood trumpet      (#8)   TRPT
    glockenspiel      (#6)   MEL
    flute & piccolo  (#68)   MEL
    flageolet & octave piccolo (#10)   MEL
    violin 'A'        (#9)   MEL
    violin 'B'       (#69)   MEL
    glockenspiel      (#6)   MEL

RESERVED (RES) KEYS, 6 keys (used by Wurlitzer 166)
  Melody division:
    Prestant and violin (#75)
  Percussion division:
    tympani   (#74)   [tympani added later on many 165's]
  Expression division:
    snare drum FF (loud)  (#73) [roll coding indicates also for bass drum]
    Una-Fon bells     (#3)    BASS   (Deagan Una-Fon)
    bass bells        (#1)    BASS
    brass trombone (BASS) & brass trumpet (TRPT)    (#2)



 6 bass
10 accomp
14 trumpet
22 melody
 5 percussion
 2 swell shades
11 controls
70 total active keys for W165 instrument
 5 reserved keys (added in W166 instrument)
75 total keys, W165 music roll format

Channel assignments (from Don Rand, circa 1980)

chan    type    div    name

 1    CTL    ACC    bass bells on (W166 only)
 2    CTL    TRPT   Trumpet & BASS Brass Trombone on (W166 only)
 3    CTL    MEL    Una-Fon bells on (W166 only)
 4     -     PER    Triangle
 5    SWL     -     Swells Off
 6    CTL    MEL    Bells on
 7     -     PER    Crash Cymbal
 8    CTL    TPT    Wood Trumpet on
 9    CTL    MEL    Violin 1 on
10    CTL    MEL    Piccolo & Flagolet on
11     -     PER    Snare Drum (reit.)
12     -     BASS    begin 6 bass div 12..17
18    CTL     -     COIN TRIP
19     -     ACC    begin 10 accomp div 19..28
29    CTL    -      REWIND
30     -     MEL    begin 22 mel 30..51
52    CTL     -     CANCEL (Declenche)
53     -     TRPT    begin 14 TRPT div 53..66
67     -     PER    bass Drum
68    CTL    MEL    Flute
69    CTL    MEL    Violin 2 (celeste)
70    CTL    BAS    Wood Trombone
71    SWL     -     Swells Open
72     -     PER    Castanets
73     -     PER    Snares FF (W166 only)
74     -     PER    Kettle drum  (W166 only)
75    CTL    MEL    Prestant & Violin on (W166 only)

CHANNEL ASSIGNMENTS - channel (key) number, assignment

channel:          12      13      14  15      16      17
 BASS:             C       D       E   F       G       A

channel:          19      20  21  22  23  24  25      26  27  28
 ACCOMP            G       A  A#   B   C  C#   D       E   F  F#

channel:          30  31  32  33  34  35  36  37  38  39  40  41  42  43
 MELODY            G  G#   A  A#   B   C  C#   D  D#   E   F  F#   G  G#

channel:                  44  45  46  47  48  49      50  51
 MELODY                    A  A#   B   C  C#   D       E   F

channel:  53  54  55  56  57  58  59  60  61  62      63  64  65  66
 TRUMPET   F  F#   G  G#   A  A#   B   C  C#   D       E   F  F#   G


 1    ACC    bass bells
 2    CTR    Trumpets & BAS Trombone
 3    MEL    Una-Fon bells
 4    PER    Triangle
 5     -     Swells Close
 6    MEL    Bells on
 7    PER    Crash Cymbal
 8    CTR    Wood Trumpet on
 9    MEL    Violin 1
10    MEL    Piccolo & Flagolet
11    PER    Snare Drum (reit.)

18     -     NICKEL TRIP
29     -     REWIND
52    CANCEL

67    PER    bass Drum
68    MEL    Flute
69    MEL    Violin 2 (celeste)
70    BAS    Wood Trombone
71     -     Swells Open
72    PER    Castanets
73     -     Snares FF
74    PER    Kettle drum
75    MEL    Prestant & Violin



DESCRIPTION OF RANKS, percussion and controls/stops:
   division name, quantity of keys & total quantity of pipes in division
   quantity of pipes in the rank, range of rank
   rank name, range [..], true sound pitch of longest pipe in the rank
     air column length of longest pipe

BASS 6 keys [C,D,E,F,G,A]
 18 pipes--
  6 8-foot stopped flute 8'    [C..A]  C =
  6 8-foot open flute 8'
  6 8-foot reed Wood Trombone

ACCOMP 10 keys [G..F#}
  20 pipes --
 10 stopped flute 2'
 10 open flute 2'

MELODY 22 keys [G..G}
176 pipes --
 44 violin 'A' (double)
 44 violin 'B' (double)
 22 flagolet
 22 open piccolo
 22 stopped flute
 22 open fl. (piccolo)
 22 bells

TRUMPET (counter-melody) 14 keys [F..G]
 14 wood bassoon
 14 wood viola
 14 wood trumpet

   snare drum, reiterating
   bass drum + cymbal
   crash cymbal

 CONTROLS & STOPS  13 keys

   Control precedence:
      Stop "on" always takes precedence over Declenche (cancel/release).

    Bass drum:  delay = 85 millisecond (msec) from key "on",
                           duration 106 msec typ.
    Snare drum: delay = 37 msec from key "on",
                           charging duration 50 msec typical.

W165kbd4.gif (11 kb)

This is how I would connect the pouch switches and tracker bar to play
a Wurlitzer Style 165 music roll on a pipe organ, by connecting the
pouch switches directly to the key contacts of the keyboards of the
organ console.

1. The W165 Accompaniment channels (tracker bar 19-28) would be wired
to the Great keyboard such that channel 23 plays Middle C of the keyboard
and so fundamental pitch C=262 Hz would sound when an 8-foot voice is

2. The W165 Bass channels (tracker bar 12-17) would be wired to the
Pedal keyboard such that channel 12 plays two octaves below Middle C of
the keyboard and so a note of fundamental pitch C=65.5 Hz would sound
when an 8-foot voice is selected.

3. The W165 Melody channels (tracker bar 30-51) would be wired to the
Swell keyboard such that channel 35 plays one octave above Middle C of
the keyboard and so fundamental pitch C=524 Hz would sound when an
8-foot voice is selected.

4. The W165 Trumpet channels (tracker bar 53-66) would be wired to the
Solo keyboard such that channel 60 plays Middle C of the keyboard and so
fundamental pitch C=262 Hz would sound when an 8-foot voice is selected.

After wiring the pouch switches to the keys of the pipe organ console,
then begins the fun of listening to the music and finding stop settings
(and maybe registration "presets") so that the music sounds nice!

20 February 1999,  rev. 19 January 2004

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